It wasn’t long ago, maybe a couple of weeks, that people were about to declare this season as Liverpool’s year. They were 7 points clear, with the possibility of getting more points on the board ahead of City. Then came the strangest turn of events of the season: last month, City managed to lose against Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Newcastle. If any other team had been above City in the table, then the title race would have been over. Alas, never doubt Liverpool’s commitment to assuring their own demise. Not only did Liverpool lose to City in a crucial game, they also drew their latest two games against Leicester City and West Ham. Needless to say, this could turn out to be the fixture equivalent of Gerrard’s infamous yet hilarious slip which effectively knocked Liverpool out of the title race in 2014.
Guardiola has recently gone on record to suggest that the title race is still wide open, saying that “everybody is there” with 39 points left to play for before the league is decided. After City’s rescheduled game against Everton yesterday, City have come away with 3 more points, which puts them ahead of Liverpool on goal difference (albeit with an extra game played). Guardiola’s ‘everybody’ was most likely a reference to the top four, who are all relatively close in the race for the title. Chelsea, in fourth, have 50 points, which is 12 behind current leaders City. 12 points seems like an unbridgeable gap at this point in the season, but given Liverpool’s recent form, and City’s newfound ability to lose against teams outside the top 6 (a quality not shown last season), anything is possible.
Spurs are in the best position of all the other teams to catch up to Liverpool and City. At 57 points, they are only 5 away from their title rivals. They need only win two more games than both Liverpool and City from this point by the end of the season in order to win the league.
This is a lot more doable – or it would have been had Harry Kane remained fit. However, he has recently sustained an injury leaving him out of the side possibly for another month. Having been called the ‘Harry Kane team’ for so long, now is the time for Spurs to find a new identity. They may finally find consistent goals from other members of their team, or simply find a new talisman to feed all of their attacks through. Who knows, maybe in a month’s time, they will be known as the ‘Son Heung-min team’. I believe that is the more likely path. And if they play exceptionally well, they may even be the first team to win the title without playing a single one of their games in a home stadium.
This title race is beginning to look more exciting every day. Arsenal have still not shaken off the remnants of the Wenger curse, and have firmly established themselves as top-six contenders – and nothing more. United have been in terrifying form over the past 10 matches, winning nine and drawing one. They still have to play both City and Liverpool in the league and so, despite being 14 points behind the league leaders, may still have some influence on who wins the title. Realistically, there are three teams with a serious chance of winning the title this year, which is something the Premier League has not had for a while. City, Liverpool, and Spurs can all come out on top on 12 May, they just need to make sure they do not follow in Gerrard’s footsteps (or lack thereof) and slip up.